Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez on Sunday issued a dire warning about the county’s hospital capacity, as the state hit a new record of COVID-19 cases.
So far, six hospitals in Miami-Dade County have reached capacity. Gimenez said “it won’t be long” until the county is overwhelmed by hospitalizations caused by COVID-19.
“Look, we have reached capacity in some, but we also have reserve space in our system,” Gimenez, a Republican, said about the hospitals in an interview with CNN anchor Dana Bash. “We have another 1,200 beds that we can crank up pretty fast for critical care beds. We have another 500 ICU beds that we can crank up.”
“It’s our ICU capacity that’s causing us concern,” he continued. “Our ventilator space, our ventilator usage has gone up also close to 200 now. We’ve definitely had a sharp increase in the number of people going to the hospital, number of people in ICU and the number of people on our ventilators.”
On Sunday, Florida recorded the largest single-day case increase in any state since the beginning of the pandemic, with 15,299 new infections and 45 deaths. Although Gov. Ron DeSantis has closed down bars in the state, he has refused to implement new lockdown measures to prevent the spread of the disease.
DeSantis, a Republican and an ally of President Trump, has pushed for public schools to reopen next month. The Trump administration has threatened to withdraw federal funding for schools that do not reopen.
“We know there are huge, huge costs for not providing the availability of in-person schooling,” DeSantis said. “The risk of corona, fortunately, for students is incredibly low.”
Although Florida faces a major public health crisis, Disney continues to reopen its parks in the state at a reduced capacity. Guests are required to get their temperature checked before entering the parks, and will be required to get their hands sanitized before going on rides.